How does buying high quality furniture translate into frugality in furniture purchases? We need to look at the older generation’s philosophy about consumer spending. Most of the people over 40 have a different perspective when buying furniture than a person in their twenties. As buyers begin to establish themselves financially they also begin to see furniture as an investment just as their parents did. They are savy enough to know that quality does not come cheap and know that ” You pay for what you get!” is generally true. They understand that there is a reason why you pay more for a better product. They also did not grow up in as disposable a society as we have seen in the last generation.
Fabrics and Frames Furniture has been endorsing quality furniture for 34 years and has found that in the last decade or so we have predominantly catered to the over 40 consumer. On occasion we do come across a savy younger shopper who understands and appreciates quality in furniture. But why doesn’t every younger person shop with quality in mind? As someone in their late twenties, I frequently come across peers who say that they don’t want to spend $2,000 plus for a sofa that will last them a lifetime because they see furniture as disposable and want to constantly change their room every couple of years. They are still learning who they are and what their style is. Although I see their point that a room can become stagnant, I don’t understand why they will spend $1000 plus for a sofa that they will only get to use for 3-5 years before it begins to fall apart. I try to show them how it will be more economical for them to spend more on a quality piece in a furniture style that is classic and change the small accessories around the room to update their look every couple of years.
On Sunday, August 18, 2012, I came across an article in the Dallas Morning News called Think long-term when shopping for new furniture which explained how we have had a consumer mentality of being wasteful. We have been living by certain mottoes such as: “Buy Cheap”, “If it breaks, throw it away” and ” When you’re tired of something, give it away and start over.” We are constantly reminded that economic times are still hard for many even though they have improved over the last couple of years. With this in mind, isn’t it more economical to invest in a product that you have always wanted or really love that will give you years and years of use? We need to get back to the days of our grandparents who bought furniture to keep for years and would reupholster several times before discarding it. Refurbish, restyle, and reuse are becoming more in vogue as our society is beginning to see the errors of its ways in being so disposable. Our society is becoming more aware of its wastefulness which is a great thing. As we watch our landfills grow and water supplies shrink we are getting back to a more frugal society more like our ancestors. We find more and more classic furniture options in the stores today.The classic styles of sofas that have been around for centuries can have an eclectic style that fits in with the current trends. Some of the styles include the chesterfield sofa, mid-century style sofas, and danish styled sofas. What all of these pieces have in common are linear lines which do not become dated as our tastes change. They adapt well to whatever the new trends bring us.
Since Fabrics and Frames is a manufacturer, we are often called upon to help out many of our neighbor furniture companies in the Dallas area by repairing structural damages in their furniture. Fixing structural damages in other manufacturer’s furniture allows us to see the many differences in how they construct their furniture versus how we construct our furniture. Many manufacturers no longer offer the option of a real spring system. One reason for this is because they can acquire higher profit margins by using a webbing system and can offer their product for a lower retail price. This type of support system does not hold up over the long term. Another thing that has changed in the furniture world is the type of woods that some manufacturers are using. At Fabrics and Frames Furniture we only use hard woods such as oak so that our frames will never split or crack. Some manufacturers are no longer using hardwoods in there frame construction because it is more economical for them to build with other woods such as pine and even plywood. Hardwoods are a bit more expensive to build with and using softer woods such as pine to build out of is definitely more cost effective initially but not in the long term. When using a less sturdy wood the frame is much easier to brake or split. In the end buying a less expensive piece of furniture may not always be the most economical considering you will have to replace it much more often.
So as a younger individual, how can I create a room that I will be able to change as I change with just a few minor details?
One way that you can enhance frugality in your furniture buying is to purchase simple, solid colored pieces. There are a number of colors that will complement almost any color combination. These colors are beige, taupe, brown, black and grey. They are considered neutral tones and depending on your aesthetics can be used in traditional, transitional, or contemporary settings.
Remember that you don’t have to invest in high quality pieces of furniture everywhere in your home. If you focus on quality in the main areas of your home where your furniture gets the most use, you will be able to expand the longevity of your furniture. For many this area would be the living room and television rooms of your home where most of the activities of your household take place. For other areas of your home that get much less use it is perfectly fine to purchase a lower quality piece that will fit the space. You can fill in with lower quality decorative occasional pieces that are mostly for looks and style to complete those rooms that are rarely used. Since these pieces will not get lots of use they should last you for many years!
Recycling is becoming a necessity as our natural resources are dwindling and our environment is at risk. So the next time you start your search for a new sofa or chair remember to focus on quality just as your parents and grandparents did. It will last you for years to come and maybe even your children and grandchildren can enjoy your purchase as well as a better world because of your frugality!
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Writen By: Erica Guajardo
Edited By: Linda Decuir